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Rethinking Society

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About Us

Aims and Objectives:

  • Intellectual civility. Engage in constructive and respectful discussions without insult or hostility.
  • Exposure to, and diversity of ideas. Guarantee the exposure to a multitude of ideas and perspectives, that would provide the necessary challenge to their pre-existing assumptions and rationales.
  • Deliberative Cultivation. Establish a space for deliberation between individuals with different convictions, through which an enriched and robust politics, society and ideas can emerge.
  • Societal Elevation. Raise the standard and norms of debate within society through the establishment of a space where critical thinking is the purpose.
  • Uphold freedom of speech by ensuring mutual respect between individuals.
  • Stifle the proliferation of ‘belief-gaps’ and the societal polarisation which is at present threatening the cohesiveness of our democracies.
  • Cultivate and enrich both new and existing ideas, solutions and politics within our society.
  • Raise the benchmark and setting new standards for deliberation, discussion and thinking within our society.

The Rethinking Society is a rapidly developing, exciting and mentally enriching new society at the University of Exeter.

Established in 2016, by individuals from a broad range of subject areas at the university, this diversity of opinion, ideas and experience is at our very core. We are above all else an academic society and we welcome student from all subjects , all areas of interest and from all levels of academia. There are no prerequisites for members, we just ask members to keep an open mind and be willing to be exposed to a diverse range of ideas.

We meet once a week to discuss and “Rethink” a broad topic, such as "Political correctness", “War”, “Mental Health” and many more. These are discussed in ‘circle debates’, of groups no bigger than 15 which ensures, plenty of opportunity for participation and a meaningful and robust discussion. But also, if you would prefer, feel free to just come along and listen.

We are an apolitical and non-partisan society , unlike traditional debating societies we realise that debates are not simply black and white and cannot be resolved by a “for” and “against”. We offer an opportunity for you to engage in discussion with a diverse range of individuals from across the university. Bring your ideas, academic knowledge and passionate opinions to life and come and join us to “Rethink” them.